So try the Add blend mode. And because the feathering on the flare goes beyond that sdreen shot, you'll want to use a feathered mask around it or you'll see hard lines at the edges.
How are you generating the lens flair? If it is an image and the black is truly black you can use the Screen or Add mode with the layer on top. If you used a plug-in to generate the lens flair on a black solid, same thing. Use your blend modes.
AE Basics in this case are just the same as the Basics of blending in Photoshop or Premiere Pro (or Avid, or Vegas, or FCP or any image editing app that supports layers and blend modes).
Ziji Man wrote:
In tutorials, people usually choose Screen or Overlay, but when I try that, I still see black and the square shape around the flare. Is there something I'm missing here?
Could you show a screenshot of your comp window and timeline with the layer set to Screen where it's not working?
Also, overlay is a terrible idea for lens flares. Whoever suggested that in a tutorial should be ignored.
Here's a sample frame of the issue. I wasn't planning on making my lens flare the same size as the entire shot, I wanted it to be smaller than the rest of the shot. (Maybe that's causing my problem?)
I tried Add Blend Mode, as Dave mentioned, but the flare turned into an over-exposed glob and lost most of it's definition and clarity.
I don't get it, I see tutorials where people simply choose "Screen" and it blends perfect. I have never been able to duplicate this, unfortunately.
Thanks for the screen shot, but without seeing the Modes panel, it's kind of useless. I see the rectangular outline on that flare layer -- where did THAT come from?
I think those canned flares you're trying to use aren't right.
Dave - Thanks for the reply! Here's a wider shot of the project. This has the original black flare (bottom right), and the Screen black flare (bottom left), and then you see a BCC 3D Lens Flare that's animated over the logo.
I would love to be able to use black-backed images in AE with my projects, but so far I haven't been able to do so.
That's not a very good flare to use -- there's NOTHING in the layer that's black. The best you can do is to use Screen mode and make a feathered mask around the edges of the flare so it doesn't look so objectionable.
Tell you what -- put that flare in its own comp. Open the info pane. Now move the arrow cursor around the picture. Look at the RGB values in the info pane. I doubt you'll find anything that registers 0-0-0, indicating black. That's the problem with that flare.
Besides, if you have BCC Flares, why aren't you usng those? They have planty of controls in them.
You're right about that, I sampled areas of the image and never got black.
This problem has been with other images I've wanted to superimpose over my videos, not just flares. I'm not happy that I haven't been able to do this yet, but in the case today I guess I'll just have to use more BCC 3D flares, even if they are going to be 90% off camera.
It will probably look better anyway since the 3D flares can move with the camera - gives me more room to play. Thanks!
To reduce the "box" visibility, you can apply Levels and crush the blacks of the flare layer. As mentioned above, you should also mask the flare and feather the edges of the mask.
But the beauty of real lens flares is the movement of individual elements of the flare over time. You'll get much better results using a plugin rather than stills.
For the record, the still you're using is made with a standard preset from Video Copilot's Optical Flares plugin.
Ziji Man wrote:
This problem has been with other images I've wanted to superimpose over my videos, not just flares.
A lot of that has to do with the colors & video levels found in the two (or more) layers when you use a blend mode. Sometimes you mess with opacity. Sometimes you mess with the levels effect. It's often not just a straightforward blend mode. You frequently have to tweak things.